Getting Started

Process

This is an overview of the process the Office of Connected Care (OCC) follows to develop and maintain VA mobile apps. There are two paths that an application could follow depending on the purpose of the application and the systems the application will integrate with.

Please submit a request to have your application be part of the VA Mobile App Store by completing the VA Mobile App Intake Form (VA Network access required). The following instructions will provide you with additional details about requirements based on the purpose of your application.

Planning

A new VA app requires the following planning activities:

  • Conduct a trademark clearance search using the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). Determine if a trademark has already been registered (or applied for) that is similar or already in use.
  • Present names and logos to the VA Office of General Counsel.
  • Draft a Help Desk Support plan and funding.
  • Draft a Sustainment and app retirement plan.
  • Review VA Mobile App Compliance Requirements
    • Applications must receive authorization from Privacy, Security, 508 and adhere to VA branding standards.

If the application being developed will integrate with VA systems and be housed in the VA External Cloud (VAEC) then the app team must also be prepared to complete the following activities:

  • If the app accesses VA data, the development team must draft a System Design Document (SDD) or Service Design Document (SRVDD)
  • Present a System Design Document (SDD) or Service Design Document (SRVDD) to the Office of Connected Care VA Mobile Architecture team for approval. This must be approved to move into the MAP Staging Environment.
  • Obtain current federal identification credentials and request a Mobile App Program (MAP) account. This lets the team access the MAP development tools within the VA firewall.
  • Conduct Agile Sprint 0 activities, including the creation of epics, stories, and a backlog within the MAP space in the Atlassian suite.
  • Review VA Mobile App Compliance Requirements
    • Applications must receive authorization from Privacy, Security, 508 and adhere to VA branding standards.

Project Management

VA app development teams use Atlassian Jira to track all project activity. Teams maintain project documentation in Confluence wiki spaces for each respective project. Only VA MAP development personnel with the appropriate credentials have access to these sites. Most of the development operation work requests are created from Jira tickets. Teams create the required project documentation with Confluence wiki templates. The Developer Help wiki space maintains a general guide to MAP operations, and the Mobile Application Cloud Migration (MACM) Chief Product Team wiki space maintains detailed MAP standard operating procedures.